The 10 Best Things to See in Pompeii

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Pompeii: Death, Destruction, and Vineyards

Everyone goes to Pompeii thanks to their fascination with the tragic story of a city trapped in a catastrophe, burned and buried alive, leaving its mark for eternity. But there's more to this tiny city than a depressing history of death and destruction. To many people's amazement, there are beautiful sceneries, vineyards, and a touch of that fabled Italian charm.

10. Central baths: walking by what seems like blocks of ruins in the same style gives you a good impression of how big the baths truly were. Today the floors are covered in grass and the ceiling is replaced by blue, open skies. Nevertheless, while there appears to be no tangible remnants of the original baths, the ruins today create a beautiful blend of nature and ancient architecture.

9. Via di Marina: walking through this street, the main entrance into the city, it feels as if you are climbing into an ancient world, an alternate universe. The tight street is filled with large cobble stones paving the way as tall buildings and arches cut you off from the outside world. With an eerie last breath, you are plunged into the world of the ancient Romans.

8. House of Faun: this was originally one of the largest private residences of the city. However, today it is mostly in ruins. This nevertheless does not stop us from admiring the sheer size and remaining beauty of the once grand house.

Via di Marina

7. House of the Vetti: one of the best preserved ancient residences, this house shows how the wealthy once lived. With an adorable courtyard and lavish entertaining rooms, the House of Vetti shows what life was like for the rich.

6. Mount Vesuvius: though not within the old city itself, it is accessible from the city. And why not visit the destructive volcano that made the city famous? It is a steep climb to the top but gives views of the surrounding cities, such as Sorento, Pompeii, and Naples.

5. Anfiteatro: this amphitheater was once the location of staged battles and fights, just like the famous Colosseum in Rome. It is also left largely intact today and managed to survive much of the destruction.

The streets of Pompeii

4. Vineyards: what really struck me is that Pompeii produces a great amount of wine. Inside the old city are vineyards, right next to the ruins of the fiery destruction. And from the vineyards you get a truly beautiful view: ruins, vineyards, nature, and a towering volcano in the background.

3. Temple of Jupiter: this temple next to the main forum is mostly in ruins but is nevertheless beautiful. It's central location shows its importance and the remaining tall columns give you a glimpse of its size and ancient power over the city.

2. Plaster casts of Pompeii's victims: let's be honest, this is what everyone really comes to see. They want to see the remains of the bodies, cowered into corners, awaiting their doom. And while it seems very morbid that we all want to see this, I learned from a teacher that it is part of human nature. We all are intrigued by the four D's of history: death, disease, destruction, and dismemberment.

Plaster casts of Pompeii's victims

1. Forum: the main location of the city gives a view of all the monuments that have been listed. Once the lively area of the city, full of action, today it is packed with tourists, attempting to read a map to find where the best ruins are and how to find the plastered remains. It gives a taste of the ancient life dwelling within the city.

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12 comments:

  1. If I ever make it to Pompeii, I would like to hike Mount Vesuvius for the views over the city. However, I don't like the idea of staring at the casts of the victims. Yes, it may be human nature but it's too morbid for me.

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    1. Yeah, it is a strange feeling, like they're exposed and should be buried or something to honor them that way. But everyone wants to see them when they go.

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  2. I have been fascinated with Pompeii since I was a little girl - just part of human nature to be fascinating in something destructive, huh! Perhaps that is very true, as morbid as it sounds. Maybe it is about recounting the fragility of life. But good to know that there are many other parts of Pompeii worth visiting rather than just the plaster casts of the deceased. Great post - hope to get there one day.

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    1. You make a good statement about the fragility of life. Seems true. And yes, there is so much more to the area that just the plaster casts.

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  3. I love this article. There is soo much history in this city to be seen! The old structures and architecture is amazing! I would love to go to the vineyards as well!

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  4. This is one of the saddest place I ever visited. Your descriptions revived the memories of my visit. We had gone numb to silence seeing those POP models.

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    1. Yeah, it is an odd experience, hard to imagine since the plaster casts are so vivid.

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  5. It's been a long time since I visited Pompeii, but I'll never forget it. A true testament to the power of the planet.

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  6. This seems really interesting, ive akways wanted to go to Pompei, after watching that movie they came out with. I love wine so vineyards would be perfect for me haha!

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    1. Its strange to see the vineyards there, but apparently the wine is good!

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